In a bedroom in Greystones, Ireland, Smoothboi Ezra spent isolated days and nights crafting their latest EP, Stuck. A collection of songs that seem sombre on the surface, but dig deeper and they try to understand the sadness they’ve been dealt. The sound is sparse, consisting mainly of just a guitar and Ezra’s voice, but this only further brings out the deep intimacy of their sound. Evoking the spirit of those early Soccer Mommy tapes, Ezra has both honed in their sound to resemble their biggest influences whilst simultaneously evolving their songs to become grander in their emotive palettes. Ezra’s music also offers an often overlooked insight into relationships, being both non-binary and on the autism spectrum, Ezra is trying to bring about more representation for neurodivergent and non-binary artists through their music and stories. We asked Ezra a few questions to get to know the smoothboi behind the songs.
Over what time and where was this EP recorded?
Between July 2020 and February 2021 all recorded in my bedroom.
What has your last 12 months looked like?
Binge watching a bunch of different TV series, crocheting a lot, basically doing any type of arts and crafts between writing and recording my EP.
You explore relationships and their eventual fallout on the EP, is the writing process somewhat therapeutic for you? Or is it more diaristic?
It’s a mixture of both, writing is my therapy – releasing it into the world is like releasing it from my brain.
Your songwriting is also very vulnerable lyrically, what allowed you to be this open with your music?
I don’t know how to be any other way when I’m writing. It’s easier to be vulnerable in my writing and tell the truth than to make things up.
What was the best part about recording this EP and what was the most challenging?
The challenge is knowing when I’m finished with a song and to stop working on it. I just like making music so I like the whole process.
Your sound has a very melancholic undertone to it, is this something you try to achieve with each song or is that just a sound you naturally gravitate towards?
I’d say it’s a sound I naturally gravitate towards.
Who inspires your sound?
Musicians like Eillott Smith, Phoebe Brigers, Kate Bush, Haley Heyenderickx. They’re the musicians I listen to and I would love to sound like.
Do you think there needs to be more representation of non-binary and autistic artists in the music industry?
I think anyone who wants to make music should make music and be listened to, we definitely need to amplify more neurodivergent voices.
And if so what do you feel needs to be done to achieve this?
The media should be open to covering more diverse artists. Venues need to be more accessible to all abilities. We should get more used to listening and giving platforms to autistic people who are not able to mask. I’ve seen that most autistic people in the media that are given airtime are able to mask to be more neurotypical passing, which is a comfort to neurotypical people. Autistic people who don’t have the capacity to mask deserve the same opportunities.
What will it be like playing those first shows again when they’re allowed?
It’s going to be exciting and I can’t wait.
What have been some of your favourite live memories so far? Both playing and gigs you’ve attended
When I supported Orville Peck two people came up to tell me that they loved my music and then they came to watch me at my first headline gig in Whelans (Dublin) later in the year, that was really nice. One of the first gigs I went to was The Front Bottoms and it still remains one of my favourite gigs along with Haley Heyenderickx.
If anything, what is something you’d like to change about the music industry?
We need to do a better job of amplifying more neurodivergent voices and musicians and creatives of all types.
Stuck EP is available to stream everywhere and buy now.